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This blog is my diary of works in progress. The only way a writer can improve upon her skill is to practice, practice and practice some more. Here, in this place of quiet peace, I pen to paper my thoughts and creativity. Welcome to my world.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Blackberry Stew by Isabell Monk

Title: Blackberry Stew

Author: Isabell Monk

Publisher: Carolrhoda Books/Lerner Publishing Group, April 2005

Suitable for: 5 - 8 years

Themes/Topics: Loss and Grief, Grandfathers, Memories, Over-coming Fears

Opening:
Grandpa Jack had passed away. Aunt Poogee and I sat on her wraparound porch, all dressed up. We watched as our family and friends arrived at the church up on the hill for his funeral.
Brief synopsis:
Hope is sad that her Grandpa Jack has passed away.  She does not want to go to the funeral because she does not want to say goodbye and lose her grandfather forever. She and Aunt Poogee sit on the porch and share one of their favorite memories of Grandpa Jack, blackberry picking. Hope learns one of life’s most important lessons. She realizes that as long as she has her memories, Grandpa Jack will live on inside of her, and she will never have to say good-bye.

Links to resources:
Learn about berry facts and tips for picking here.  
Coloring Pages here and here.
Learn about garter snakes here and here.
A variety of snake learning activities can be found here
There is a recipe for blackberry stew at the end of the book.

Why I like this book:
This heart-warming story emphasizes the importance of family, love and memories. I love the warmth and feel of the story. The reader is taken into the past as Hope remembers her grandpa. I really felt the emotions she was feeling, her grief, fear, relief and happiness. I loved the illustrations. They lent a warm and touching extension to the text. Any child who is grieving the loss of a beloved grandparent will find solace in knowing that they will never truly lose them as long as they keep their memories alive. But I also think it is important for parents and adults to help children keep those memories alive. J

11 comments:

Karen Strong said...

That cover is GORGEOUS.

Stacy S. Jensen said...

Another great pick. Memories are so important. I'm always interested in books that deal with this topic. Thanks for adding it to the list.

Ms Saba (aka Teacher007.5) said...

I KNOW!!!!! I love it too!! Grandpa Jack reminds me of my grandpa! <3

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Saba, this sounds like a wonderful book, and one much needed by many children. I know there are a few out there - about loss of grandfather in particular (not so much grandmother... I wonder why...?) I read a really tough PB recently called Scar about a child who loses his mother. But I digress. Losing a grandparent is common for children, and good books can help them understand and deal with their grief. Thanks so much for sharing this thoughtful title.

Cheryl Velasquez said...

Thanks for sharing this book. I have a few students in my class that lost their Grandmothers. I will suggest this book to my parents and put it on my library list.

Heather said...

I love the cover! And I love picture book Friday!

Ms Saba (aka Teacher007.5) said...

I'm glad this will prove helpful for some of your students Cheryl. I know this topic can be really hard on little ones. The death of my mom was really hard on my niece who was 7 at the time she passed away. Books like these definitely help them feel like they are not alone.

Ms Saba (aka Teacher007.5) said...

Yes! I'm actually looking for more in this topic for all relationships. After my mom's passing I actually wrote a story (to help me and my niece through the transition) about how my niece experienced grief and the loss of my mom. But this subject is definitely needed.

Ms Saba (aka Teacher007.5) said...

Thank you Stacy.

Ms Saba (aka Teacher007.5) said...

I Know!!!!!! I love Fridays!! I have found so many wonderful books through this project!!! :)

Patricia T. said...

Saba, don't know how I missed your review as I went down the list. Like your choice. We need more good grief books on the list. I especially like the emphasis on memories as that is such a helpful part of healing. Great review!


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